The House of the Spirits
The House of the Spirits (1994)

Bille August directed this film version of the Isabel Allende novel, featuring a cast that includes Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, and Glenn Close. The story is a sweeping and brooding melodrama, spanning generations and filled with violence,… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: April 1, 1994
DVD Release Date: June 19, 2001
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 29% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

The thing works in its goofy way, mainly because Bille August is a man of apparently dauntless conviction. He has written and directed every scene with serene authority.

Full review…
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer

How can an accomplished director take a great novel, the best actors working and the finest technicians available and make a film so... bland? It's a puzzlement.

Full review…
Stephen Hunter
Baltimore Sun

It's also a wretched paradox: a big budget, star-driven art film whose very elements subvert its ambitions and turn it into the thing it least wants to be -- a listless '50s-style Hollywood melodrama.

Full review…
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune

The flaws aren't fatal. The beauty and brilliance that might have been, don't preclude the quality and bravery that exist on the screen.

Full review…
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

Inert from its opening moments to its too-long-delayed close, this lackluster production is an example of international filmmaking at its least attractive, and a misstep in the careers of pretty much everyone involved.

Full review…
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Daily News

This isn't just a bad movie -- it's hugely, grandiosely, pompously bad.

Full review…
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel

The House of the Spirits is like Gone With the Wind with the fun and excitement replaced by lofty. All that's left is the wind.

Full review…
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

It's always painful when a brilliant book becomes a bust of a movie.

Full review…

Similar epics are made with more conviction and less pretension on daytime TV.

Full review…
More reviews for The House of the Spirits

Flixster Audience Score: 72% Flixster User Reviews
Dean McKenna
Even a high-powered cast cannot save this sketchy depiction of 70 years in the history of an unnamed country (reportedly Chile) as seen by three generations of… More
Leo L
Lesley N
Shit film, good book.
Sunil Jawahir
Wow. I get the feeling the book was not nearly as crappy as this.